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Di Maio accuses Draghi of 'poisoning' political climate'

POLITICS
Di Maio accuses Draghi of 'poisoning' political climate'

Deputy premier Luigi Di Maio on Friday accused European Central Bank president Mario Draghi of further "poisoning" the already tense relations between Rome and Brussels over Italy's plan to triple the deficit next year after Draghi warned that a protracted 'spread' between benchmark German and Italian bonds would hurt Italian banks.


"It's time when people should be sticking up for Italy and I am amazed that an Italian should further poison the climate in this way," Di Maio told state broadcaster RAI in an interview to be aired later on Friday.

"We are preparing a budget that is on the side of the weakest," he said, referring to the government's plan to triple the deficit next year, mainly to fund welfare spending, cuts to the retirement age and to slash taxes.

Draghi said on Thursday a consistently elevated yield premium between Italian and German bonds, a gauge of investor confidence in Italy's ability to service its debt, would impact banks.

Italy was "a factor of uncertainty" for the eurozone's economic outlook, along with Brexit and the threat of an international trade war, Draghi also stated.

Draghi however said he was "hopeful an agreement will be found" between Rome and Brussels over Italy's expansionary budget plan, which targets a 2.4 percent deficit next year and which the European Commission has asked Italian government to redraft within three weeks.



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